Book Review of “Ryder”

“Ryder” was published in 2014 and was written by Nick Pengelley ( This is Mr. Pengelley’s first novel as well as the first of the “Ayesha Ryder” mystery/thriller series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as it contains Violence and Mature Situations. The novel is written in the third person and is set in contemporary London, England. The primary characters are Ayesha Ryder and Judah Ben David.

Judah Ben David is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He is in London to make a joint announcement with Sayyed Khalidi, the current Palestinian leader, at the Tower of London. Noone knows what the two are going to announce. There is great hope that the long violence will be set aside, but there are those ultra right wingers in Israel, the Shamir, who will do anything to stop peace. They are both waiting to hear from Sir Evelyn Montagu, Judah Ben David’s close friend, on the outcome of his research.

Dr. Ayesha Ryder is a the director of research at the Walsingham Institute for Oriental Studies. Now a recognized academic, she had been a member of the Fedayeen in her teenage years. She suffered through torture by Israelis after being captured, then fought her way to freedom. Many years later her body is still covered with the physical scars.

Ayesha has been called in before by Scotland Yard to consult on cases that concern the middle east. She is called again, this time to consult on the murder of Sir Evelyn Montagu. Unknown to the police, she and Montagu had been lovers a few years earlier. Ayesha has a personal debt to settle in finding Evelyn’s killers. Ayesha soon finds a trail of clues left by Montagu that not only leads to his killers, but to long lost documents concerning Palestine.

I enjoyed the five hours I spent reading this thriller. It felt like a combination of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Laura Croft as Reysha followed the trail of clues and fought her way clear of the Shamir. I liked the historical elements of T. E. Lawrence threaded through the plot. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

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